Can the science of embodied cognition make you feel better?

How did a simple idea for a documentary lead to a new exercise modality?
While director Albert Nerenberg was doing a workshop in 2012 on laughter and trauma, an attendee asked why many people freeze during a traumatic event. Albert explained that most people instinctively freeze during a shocking event except people who have some kind of training such as police or emergency personnel.

He also recalled as an aside that movie star Tom Cruise had seemingly broken the traumatic freeze after a woman had been hit by a car on a Los Angeles street. Only Tom Cruise had helped her while others just stared.

Because attendees were so interested in the subject Albert decided to look into it more deeply. To his astonishment, he found that Tom Cruise had actually rescued people on a number of occasions. Also he was not the only star to do so.

Albert discovered an interesting pattern of movie star rescues. He did a bit more research and was surprised by the number of events involving different stars. He also found links between the kind of movies the stars were acting in and events that took place in their lives.

In 2013 Albert embarked on research around the science of how acted behaviour changes personality. He found research that suggests that the poses people hold change their biochemistry, sometimes quickly. As well confidence poses raise testosterone levels, which then can change behaviour. The testosterone level claims have since been withdrawn, but people were developing some scientific evidence of a previously little known theory.

The central theme of You Are What You Act is that many things we think we have no power over: how happy we are, how brave we are, how confident we are, can be altered. That by practicing certain behaviours, we culture the mindset and the emotions that come with it. And that over time, this may lead to even fundamental biological change of our bodies. The reason why some action movie stars have been heroes in real life is because they practice being heroes by day. Does that concept apply to anyone? Possibly yes. That concept may hold new possibilities for social change, human transformation or simply having a better day.

After speaking to the worlds leading psychologists, Albert put all these theories under one umbrella and called the practice: Actorcize. Try the exercises daily for 10 days. It certainly can’t hurt!

Ratings and Reviews

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Joey Kasz ,


Love the concept. Use it in my every day life. Glad to have something I can share with people so they stop thinking I’m some crazy nut job (I am !!!)

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